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Archive for July, 2008

What should you do with 401K when you switch jobs?

July 31st, 2008 at 07:54 am

Is it better to roll it over to the new plan? Or, is it better to put it in a roth IRA?

How do you select the best roth IRA for you? Also where to look for one?

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. Feeling a little overwhelmed right now.
Frown

One of those days

July 28th, 2008 at 09:43 am

I am having one of those days. Ugh!
BTW brought breakfast and lunch again. But the weekend was pretty spendy with dentist payment and everything. And I ate out yesterday. Just because I felt like it.
I also had to buy a printer cartridge. 33 dollars!! And then I bought some school supplies. Not necessary items. Want items. Spent about $20 on that. I don't know -- I guess I went out of control.

Ouch that hurt AND cost me $300

July 27th, 2008 at 02:16 pm

I went in for regular teeth cleaning (Horrors! After 3 years. I hate going to the dentist) They said my gums were being pushed down and I needed to put in boding in 15 teeth and if I didn't take care of them, I will get root canals!! And one cavity! My insurance paid 80% of it. But I had to pay $300 out of my pocket. Frown
Have you guys had bonding put in? She also fixed one of my teeth that was chipped. Now it seems smooth which is nice. I wonder if I should have waited and gotten 2nd opinion? But dental insurance from my work is crappy- ony $1500 a year, most of which was used up today.

Feeling sad

July 26th, 2008 at 02:59 pm

Weekends are always hard these days. My friends are spread out all through out the world and it's hard to catch up. BF and I are having problems and I don't know if it will get better with time. Everybody seems to be having a nice summer, enjoying going out, camping etc. It's a lonely feeling to see everybody else enjoying themselves and me? When will I have all of that? Friends have their own lives to think about and live. It used to be different when we were younger. Now it's different. Husbands and kids always come first. Even your very good friends have no time for you because they have their own issues to deal with. But sometimes it makes me think if it was them having a bad time, I would care more. I would call over the weekend to see how that person is doing. Because weekends are specially harder. Maybe it's just me. But I don't really enjoy having rushed conversations over the phone whenever it's convenient to them -- while they are driving or waiting for something. It would mean so much more if they actually made time for me. Oh well. I guess live and learn.

Lunch Challenge Update

July 25th, 2008 at 10:15 am

I brought in my own breakfast and lunch every day this week! Way to go! I am very proud of myself.

Thursday update and discovering freezing and defrosting

July 24th, 2008 at 06:43 am

Brought in my breakfast and lunch again. Last night I cooked a batch of pasta sauce and froze them. Now I have pasta sauce ready for about 10 meals! Awesome. I am only just now doing the cooking and freezing thing. Also it only recently occurred to me that you can defrost the frozen food using microwave to have ready meal in minutes. I know so silly, but I never used microwave oven in that way before. Duh! It not only saves food from going to waste, but saves me money too! I used to be the queen of buying a bottle of pasta sauce, using it for 1 or 2 meals and having the most of it go to waste. That was because I would pour a little out and cook it each time I wanted to have pasta. Cooking the whole jar at once not only saves the wastage, but it also saves me gas and time. I know people have done it for ages, but it's a new found concept to me and I am really pleased as a plum.
Smile


Today's Breakfast:
Granola, handful of dried fruits, raisins on fat free yogurt

Today's Lunch:
Amy's Mac n Cheese
Green Peas

Today's Snack:
Frozen fruits

Today's Dinner:
You guessed it! Spaghetti with delicious sauce a la moi

Under the weather and nighmarish experience

July 23rd, 2008 at 06:44 am

Not feeling too well today. You know that feeling when you wake up with your whole body hurting and legs turning to jelly? I fell asleep on the couch reading a book. I finally woke up and went to bed around 4 I think because it was too hot in the sofa and I was sweating. However when I fell asleep on my bed, I had this whole dream/nightmare thing about someone heavy pushing me down. It was not just in my dream, I could actually feel it physically in my half sleep. But it wasn't also real because there was no one pushing me down, but I could feel the heaviness and the feeling of not being able to move or make any sound out of my throat when I wanted to so desperately. Have you ever had that? What is it called? I have had that happen to me a few times before. I think it has something to do with the position your body is in when you fall asleep. Anyway it wasn't pleasant at all and scary in my sleeping state because you actually think someone is trying to push you down and strangle you or whatever.

I brought in both my breakfast and lunch today, but I really don't feel like eating because of how I feel. I am just drinking some hot tea right now.

Want to join lunch challenge?

July 22nd, 2008 at 11:29 am

I have brought in my breakfast/lunch yesterday and today. I plan to do so for the rest of the week. This is a challenge for myself. If anybody wishes to join this challenge for the rest of the week, please feel free to leave a comment and update. I will post result at the end of Friday to show whether or not I (and others if any) succeeded.

Where can I cut back?

July 22nd, 2008 at 09:02 am

I don't drive.

I don't own a house. (Not yet, anyway)

So just exactly where can I cut back?

I feel that the areas that I can cut back don't save me a whole lot of money.

I leave the AC on economy on 78 Degrees setting for my pet when I am not home.

If I am home, and it's not too hot, I don't turn on the AC.

I have been more consistent on bringing my own lunch.

I have been really working on not eating out.

I do not buy books online as I used to apart from the course books I need.

I guess I can be more consistent about turning off lights.

But I feel like I am cutting back here and there but they don't really make a significant difference?

I want to keep on being motivated about saving money. Are there any other ideas to keep me motivated in seeing the big picture?

New Expenses

July 21st, 2008 at 02:11 pm

As it happens, I had to buy a new vacuum cleaner this weekend. It was a lot of money I was not expecting to spend. But you can only live for so long amidst the dust, grime and pet hair. Hopefully I can enjoy my cleaner place more now. I was very very tempted to get one of those dyson vacuum cleaners. But I resisted. It seems like everybody wants to buy dyson these days. Everybody who came to the vacuum cleaner aisle were looking for one. The one I bought for myself was less than half the cost of a dyson, but still quite expensive. But I am sure I will get a lot of use out of it, and that it will last for a long time. Fingers crossed!

I was not expecting to go grocery shop further this month apart from dairy, fruits and bread. But I did end up spending $50 plus at the grocery shop yesterday. However that should last me a long time and I also have all of my lunch/breakfast food planned to bring with me. So, I think that $50 spent at the grocery store will end up saving me $30 plus in lunches during the week and cover my dinners/snacks for the rest of the month.

Museum

July 19th, 2008 at 08:08 am

Museum visit was very nice. I also found out that you don't have to pay the "suggested" fee. This little info will come in handy, and now I plan to visit all the public museums and pay very little for it. After all I am already paying for them with my tax $$. It was nice to go out and see a friend and take in all the art and music the museum had to offer. Beats staying in and wallowing in my personal stuff anytime!! Today I plan to do "summer cleaning" of dwelling. It's too hot to be outside anyway and I need to get my affairs in order. I plan to declutter and donate things that I don't use anymore to charity. Stay cool!

Learning to be better at things

July 18th, 2008 at 07:33 am

Well yesterday I saved myself from spending. I didn't buy clothes that I almost bought. I didn't do take away when I was hungry and almost too lazy to cook dinner. Instead I went home and cooked chicken that I had in the fridge. It didn't come out that well, which is a different story altogether, but ate it anyway. Then I cleaned, filed my paperworks away and mopped the kitchen floor, and went to bed at 12. I wanted to be in bed before that, but I just had too much to do. Well at least it's better than 2 am. I brought my breakfast of orange, blueberries, yogurt and granola to work. I also brought in tuna with crackers for lunch. Specifically it's Bumble Bee Sensations Spicy Thai Chili seasoned Tuna Medley with Crackers. It comes in a ready to go pack with a little spoon too. It cost me about $1.75 for the pack. It's more of a snack, but if that's not enough, I have some more granola that I brought in in a zip lock bag. I will just have to buy a cup of yogurt for it, at the most, if at all. However, I forgot to bring my student Id. Crap! I am sure that would have given me some discount at the museum. Ugh. Maybe I will print out the classes I am registered for next semester online and they will treat it as my Id. Will see. Man, I even told myself in my half sleep to remember to bring my ID. Oh well. Well one more thing to add to my list:

Pack my bag with essential items the night before


*update: The tuna lunch/snack was delicious. For a minute I thought about recreating this myself with regular tuna, but then I realized I will never be able to make it so good. I don't like tuna out of a can as it is. But this is pretty good, and I won't mind eating it again. Next time I will make it more substantial by adding it in a salad or sandwich wrap, or simply bringing in extra crackers.

Note to self

July 17th, 2008 at 01:51 pm


Today:
pick up jeans from alteration [x]
cook chicken (for dinner and to bring to lunch)[x] update: I had it for dinner but brought something else for lunch. I will have the leftover for meals over the weekend
spot clean dwelling [x]
give myself a facial [Nope]
hand wash a few light clothes [x]
go to sleep early! [Kind of]

Tomorrow:
return amazon book that came damaged (this is a course/reference book. I don't buy books anymore, I borrow.. please..)
apply for the interesting position I saw
go to museum with a friend

A down day

July 17th, 2008 at 09:04 am

Not feeling very positive today. Perhaps due to some personal stuff and job related stuff. I went to bed at 2 last night! What was I thinking? That too, after that post about discipline. Ugh! I am so bad at it. There is not really much to be motivated about right now. I need to switch myself around and my thinking around. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and start doing things to make it better.

I did bring my own breakfast and lunch today though.

Stretching my grocery budget

July 16th, 2008 at 07:29 am

I budgeted $100 for grocery for the month of July. It's the 16th. I have used up $89! Looks like I will be going over my budget. I do have some items at home that can last at least a week. Let me see if I can meal plan and strech my food to the end of the month.

Items left:

Chicken Thighs : at least 3 meals
String Beans, Onions and Zucchini and Noodles : Stir fry noodles 3-4 meals
Yogurt, Granola, Blueberry, Oranges - 1 week. (Will have to buy more yogurt and fruits next week)
European Pumpkin and Pork Strips: 2-3 meals
Water to last me all of 2 weeks
Eggs 4-5 left
Staples like rice and lentil soup
Some onions
Ramen noodles


Well, I will give it a go and see if I stretch out my grocery. I am sick of going over my food budget every month. Even if I have to increase my grocery budget, I don't want to go over $125.

Being Disciplined

July 15th, 2008 at 07:57 am

I understand that one has to discipline herself/himself in matters of personal finance. It's not easy to have no spend days. It's not easy to save. However it is very easy to give into wants and make purchases you will regret later. So my goal is to try and discipline myself to save every dollar that I can. I live in a very expensive city. I can't really say that I have a quality time to myself or with friends/family, or that I am very happy with the place I am right now in life. I have noticed this also lends to spending where I shouldn't be. I was walking around last week, and stopped in a store and ended up spending $60. I could have waited for those things I bought. But I was feeling bad, and I thought why not? They gave me temporary happiness. But no, I shouldn't be spending recklessly like that. Especially not in this economy. Well, never really. I have also been eating out a lot, which is not only expensive, but also unhealthy. So what am I going to do? I am going to discipline myself. I am going to discipline myself to do things that I necessarily don't want to do, for eg: exercise. I have heard exercising helps a person mentally. I also think it will motivate myself to eat healthier. After all, I don't want to counter-effect all that exercise. I am going to discipline myself to pack my lunch, go to sleep on time and wake up early. I am going to start with small steps and see how far I can get along.